Jonckheere improves welding process

With more than 30 years of experience in the area of robot welding, the Belgian supplier JONCKHEERE knows better than anyone else how optimising the welding process can create gains. By investing in a welding robot with the latest generation offline-programming system, JONCKHEERE subcontracting took a significant step last year.


JONCKHEERE subcontracting produces complete loading systems for lorries, tubular components for elevated work platforms and telescopic handlers and frames for textile machinery and compressors. Its clients are top manufacturers in that field. “Our aim is to provide the highest possible added value to the supply chain of an OEM, for example by using our welding expertise. We achieve this with 130 FTE’s in Roeselare, 50 in Poperinge, Belgium and 60 employees at our site in Slovakia,” explained General Manager Diederik Schodts.

Restrictions in weld-seam searching

Despite using a large number of welding robots, most of which are at the head office in Roeselare, the company never applied offline programming. “Until recently the welding robots were programmed only with the teach pendant. However, we were coming up against restrictions in finding seams with the gas nozzle, particularly in difficult to reach area’s. So we started talking with Valk Welding, which has supplied us various welding-robot systems since 1986,” explained Purchase & Planning Manager Filip Clarysse.

Improved welding quality due to wire searching

Rik Adriaen, who is responsible for the welding robots, had been exchanging experiences with the welding department of CNH (Case New-Holland). “Their positive experiences with Valk Welding’s Quick Touch wire-search system in combination with Arc Sensing, were part of the reason why the new welding-robot system was equipped with these options. The robot now produces maximum welding quality with a higher process accuracy,” commented Rik Adriaen.

Compact cell with 10 m track

The welding-robot system, which was supplied by Valk Welding last year, consists of a Panasonic TL-2000 WGHIII welding robot on a 10 m long track to weld tubular components with a length up to 10 meters. In order to enable welding of shorter (tubular) components, the system has been equipped with a movable counter bearing. The welding fixtures were engineered and built internally by JONCKHEERE. Compared to the existing overhead welding-robot systems, the new cell is much more compact.

Thanks to wire-search (Quick Touch), the robot now produces maximum welding quality with a higher process accuracy.

Rik Adriaen

Workpieces on the robot without corrections

Investing in the new welding robot also inspired JONCKHEERE to start working with offline programming. “At that point we had little knowledge in house, so we started by completing the DTPS training at Valk Welding in Alblasserdam. After that it took not long before we programmed the first products ourselves and welded them with the robot. We were struck by the fact that the programs could be used immediately without corrections, partly due to the Quick Touch wire searching system from Valk Welding,” said Rik Adriaen. “It automatically corrects small irregularities in the position of the weld seam and caused due to deformation.”

Proof of success

The good experiences with Quick Touch and offline programming with DTPS contributed to JONCKHEERE's decision to order an identical system for the Slovak site. “At the moment we are extremely satisfied with this platform and will expand the use of offline programming with DTPS further within the group. The welding quality and high reliability of the welding process have been increased significantly with this weld-seam searching method and automatic correction in the offline programs”, concluded Rik.

Respond to market trends

The investment in welding robots was also inspired by a shortage of manual welders, whilst clients increasingly demand robot quality because of the consistent, high welding quality. “ In addition to the above, it is also a fact that the investment attracts new orders.”


Diederik Schodts emphasised that the success is ultimately determined by close cooperation between designers, engineers, heads of production, the client and the supplier. “Service from the suppliers plays an important role too. We are extremely satisfied with Valk Welding's quick response. Not to mention the fact that they consider all the options together with the client and are presenting solutions during the early explorations. You can see that they have considered every aspect of the welding process. It means that Valk provides a total solution that enables us to strengthen our competitive position.”

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